“Unlimited” Now Equals 300 Megabytes

A small wireless company called Republic Wireless has started a new “unlimited” wireless voice/text/data service for $19 per month.  It was bad enough when companies were calling 5 gigabytes unlimited, but Republic Wireless has stretched the meaning to a whole new level.  “Unlimited” for Republic Wireless means 550 minutes of voice, 150 texts, and 300 megabytes of data.  At that point the customer will receive a warning that he or she is about to get kicked off the network.

So while the price for the limited service may be reasonable, the marketing of the service clearly isn’t.  All the major carriers like AT&T and Verizon are moving away from using the word “unlimited” in marketing their wireless services.  Sprint had been using a “soft cap” where users using too much data on their “unlimited” service would be throttled but even that is being phased out in favor of a tiered service.

The device options from Republic Wireless will be limited to the LG Optimus smartphone with somewhat weak hardware.  The Optimus will only support HVGA resolution (320×480) when typical smartphones offer 800×480 and newer Android 4.0 smartphones support 1280×720.  However, the Android experience is enough of an improvement over the feature phones that most wireless customers are using that the LG Optimus is a credible upgrade for many wireless customers with moderate requirements.  That makes Republic Wireless a legitimate wireless competitor for budget conscious wireless customers.